Monday, October 26, 2009

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Packin' up...

We're off in the morning, and I can't wait. I feel like a little kid who's having trouble sleeping because they're getting ready to go to Disneyworld. =)

Being so excited makes me a little nervous. I'm just waiting for something to go wrong, since we haven't done something like this before with two little kids. Have I mentioned that I can be quite the pessimist? I got it honestly; Dad is the stoic in our family who is pleasantly surprised when things don't go wrong. I take after him on some days. So if you think of us, pray that there are no disasters...

Packing for an undertaking of this magnitude requires extra effort on my part. I have 2 lists. One is for stuff we're taking, and the other is for food. I packed up all the non-refrigerated stuff tonight in paper boxes from David's office. I made spice blends for the soup recipes that I'm going to make to avoid taking a ton of little jars. I also have a large piece of paper sitting on the counter with things we can't pack until the last minute, and I've listed them as special "DON'T FORGET!" items.

I like to cook, but this is not the time to plan for a ton of scratch cooking, in my opinion. I'm making soup in the crockpot one day, and I'm also making a roast with potatoes in there. Brownies and gingerbread and pancakes are going to be from box mixes to simplify life. My big homemade splurge is butter rich bread dough. I made up a batch in my breadmaker today. It will make 24 rolls, and it will keep for a week in the fridge. I'll just tear it off, shape, and let rise for each meal. You've gotta figure out where you'll get the most bang for your effort, and only go there when you're on vacation.

We got in touch with a local friend of a friend who lives in the area, and she gave us some great tips on things to do with small children. They sound wonderful! And apparently there's a local outlet mall where I can do some real damage. Y'all, I have so little that fits right now that its pathetic. David and I agreed that its time for me to buy some clothes, so I'm going to enjoy myself doing that during naptime on a couple of afternoons. You know things are at a dire place when just about every sweatshirt you own is stained, and almost every sweater you own was inherited from your dad. Oh well, I won't look cute, but I'll be warm. We're supposed to have snow flurries on Saturday!

So if you think of me next week, imagine me curled up on the sofa under a down comforter, staring at a fire, with a cup of steaming cocoa in my hand. That's what I hope to be doing... =)

Evan at 4 1/2 months...

Evan is 4 1/2 months old, and he brings me more joy every day. I love to watch him grow and change. I took him in for his check up last week, and he weighs 12 lb., 11 oz., and he's 26 inches long. He's coming into his hereditary weight now, so I wasn't least bit surprised that he went from 50% in weight to 10th. I smiled when I heard it. Seth never got above the 15th percentile, and he was consistently in the bottom 5th from 4 months on. We make long, skinny kids in this family. =) Evan also definitely has my coloring. He's more pale than Seth ever was, and I hear that he has my shade of blue eyes. I've been told that he looks more like me than Seth does, but I'm not sure. What do you think?

We're thumb suckers around here (well, not us, the little boys anyway), and life has gotten significantly more pleasant since Evan found his two middle fingers. He's not a thumb man; he's all about the fingers. He sticks them in, rolls on his side, and he's good to go. Now that he's got this down, falling asleep on his own in the crib is a piece of cake for him.

Today Evan rolled from his back to his front. I pretty much missed it; I was dialing a phone number at the time, and then I noticed that he was fussing lying on his tummy, and I sure hadn't put him there. He's not a fan of tummy time, but I'm trying to give him about a minute of it every day. That's all he seems to be able to stand.

Evan takes 2 naps a day, usually an hour and a half at each, unless I put him in the bed with me. Then he'll nap longer. Sometimes he gets a short cat nap in the evening. He goes down at 8:00 and wakes up right around 8:00. Life is good. =)

He cooes and smiles constantly, and I LOVE how expressive he is. I get belly laughs from him if I give him lots of kisses on the neck or tummy. Seth does interact with him, and though he likes Seth, he's all about Mommy these days. I get his best smiles. Daddy probably earned them more than I because of all those hours he was up with him at night while I snoozed, but he's being generous with me. And I did get wretched heartburn with him and give up my figure, so there ya go...

Evan will usually be happy if he can just be touching somebody or getting their undivided attention. He's a people baby, that's for sure. And he's turning into a hip baby. Sniff. It's easier to let him ride there, but I miss the days when he was too tiny and wobbly to do that. I carry him around with me all day long, and he likes to nuzzle into my chest with my chin on top of his little head. I rub it there to get my Evan fix as I putter around the kitchen or get things for Seth. He's an extension of me right now whenever he's awake.

And he continues to take naps with me. There was a moment a couple of days ago where I thought he was going to give up sleeping with me. I was so relieved when I found out it wasn't true. That's the best part of having a baby, in my opinion. He curls up in the crook of my arm with his head on my shoulder, and I watch his dark lashes on his pale cheeks. It's mommy bliss.

I love you, sweet boy. Don't grow up too fast...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Learning to parent two...

Hi, everyone. It's late, and I should be in bed, but I felt like posting. Today has had its ups and downs, but we'll start with the good news first...

Drum roll, please. Evan, at the ripe, old age of 4 1/2 months, is finally napping in his own crib, without being rocked to sleep. the same time, he's not being rocked to sleep at night either. And... he's going to bed at 8:00 p.m. and waking up between 7-8:30 a.m. Hallelujah! Big, big doings around here.

He'd been going down around 8:00 for a couple of weeks, but I had to hold him with a passy in his mouth until he was good and asleep, pull the plug, and then I could put him down. And napping anyplace other than the swing was still a no go. I tried putting him in the crib, awake, last week, and he just cried for an hour, so it was back to the swing.

Well, last night, he didn't want the passy, and he kept waking up and trying to get his fingers, so I thought, "Well, I'll just try putting him down awake." And it worked. And then this morning, I discovered that the baby swing was broken. At this point, I think God broke it. =) I wouldn't have tried him again in the crib so soon after the last failure. So I put him down in it today because there was nothing else to be done, and it worked!

So, that's been great! But it was still a hard day in other ways. Seth didn't get enough sleep this weekend, and neither did I, so I felt out of it and not very engaged after we did our school time this morning. He wanted a lot of attention, and it was hard for me to give it. I was grateful when he asked to go down for his nap early. And I was even more grateful when David came home early from work (it's a federal holiday). Evan napped pretty well, but when he was up, he was fussy on and off and needed a lot of holding. And it was a very gray, rainy day, and I don't like those now that I have small children.

I don't know why it came up, but David and I were casually talking today about whether or not we'd like another child. We think we might. Maybe. After Evan is a lot older. And who knows if the clinic treatment would work again anyway. And we're not even sure about that. We're basically just not sure about this at all, really, but we'd like to want to have another child. Make sense?

But as I was washing dishes, I thought to myself, "Have another child? Hah!!! You can hardly handle the two you have! There are piles of newborn clothes lying on your baby's floor that have been there for a month because you haven't dragged the appropriate bag out of the storage shed. You haven't gone through the maternity clothes you borrowed yet to return them, and you're still wearing a lot of them. You look like a slob every week at church because you have nothing to wear that fits... and you really don't care all that much because you're too tired. You never feel caught up with anything lately, and your husband works too much and is more tired than you are. There isn't enough of you to go around, and all your friends think you don't like them anymore because you don't ever call back, and you should thank God you're not trying to do serious homeschooling right now with actual curriculum and testing and stuff. Because that would be truly terrifying..."

At least I'm getting a lot out of my Bible study this year, and I'm usually managing to get that done. It's a lifeline. But I don't have time to blog about what I'm learning, even though I'd like to. Maybe one day...

So... I'm here, but I'm struggling. And I'm REALLY ready for our vacation that starts on Friday...

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Adorable squirrels...

Ok, I found some fall adorableness off the Locurto website I listed earlier. There's a button on her sidebar for free downloads, and it was on there under holiday ideas, I think.

I printed off these adorable squirrels holding nuts. I did it on card stock so they'd stand up better, and then I taped them to wooden blocks and put them on my mantelpiece. I also taped a couple to the front door in the middle of my wreath. (I'm trying to hide the big holes left by the last owners' personalized door knocker that we haven't replaced. =)


Free prints on the web...

Ahhh, this is better. I decided that the leaf rubbing hadn't come out exactly the way I wanted it, so I got something online to put in the frame instead. These apples do the trick, I think.

And that reminds me... I've learned that you can get a lot of lovely art online for FREE! If you have a good color printer and a huge pack of card stock from Walmart, you're in business. Your walls never have to go begging again...

I got the apples from Vintage Printables.
The top of the page is a mess, but if you wait and scroll down, you'll see a list on the lefthand side of categories of things. It's wonderful for old nature prints from the 1800's and early 1900's. I considered a print of different kinds of nuts, too, but the apples looked better in this frame.

And then there's this list of freebies from Creature Comforts.
She's got a great set of cute baggie tags for cookies that I plan to use later for my MOPs small group. Scroll through... it's great.

And here's another at Living Locurto.
And now the baby is whining, so I must be off. Enjoy!

Monday, October 05, 2009

October morning...

Another Monday... cozy inside on a rainy day, doing laundry, having toddler school, managing an unusually cranky baby... Today Seth made a tree with his handprint. See those brown handprint roots and the yellow and red fingerprint leaves? I'd forgotten all about this craft that I did as a preschool teacher until Wendy reminded me. Next week it'll be fistprint orange pumpkins, I think...

It was a good weekend, but an overbusy one. David and I ended it feeling like we still hadn't completely caught up with each other. It was an unsatisfied feeling, but I told him last night, after we'd bounced on each others' raw nerves all day, that, as Anne of Green Gables says, "Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it."

But it's fall, and it's time to decorate like it! Since we just bought a vacuum cleaner, and since we just seeded our lawn and bought sprinklers and hoses, etc., and since we're going on vacation... I passed by the big, orange pumpkins at the store yesterday. Instead, I pulled out the container of tiny fake pumpkins I had from last year and sprinkled them around the living room. I pulled out my tried and true fall wreath that I still love, and I put it on the door.

Seth helped me make the fall display for our end table down below. I got out my dollar store plastic vase that looks like glass =), and he helped me pick up pine cones and put them in there.

Then he colored while I did a leaf rubbing to put inside the $0.25 frame I got at a yard sale. He seemed interested by the process, and he kept bringing me the little pumpkins and asking me what they were while I finished up the morning dishes. It's a start, anyway. I may find a free printable online that I can size to fit the frame and put that in there instead, but this will do for now. And I got a bit of fall to fit my budget...

Oh, and just because I hadn't showed this bit of yard sale booty before.... check out my wrought iron plate rack! I got this for $5 a few weeks ago, and David was sweet enough to hang it for me over the french doors that lead to our back deck. That space had seemed a little empty to me, but I'd been waiting to come across something that looked good there. The plates are extras from our everyday china. I didn't want something bright to detract from the interesting scrollwork.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Mountain dreaming...

I got one of the last really exciting mountain cabins for peak leaf season in October. ("Really exciting" to me means no ducks wearing aprons and a hot tub somewhere.) We are staying in this blissful retreat for a whole week! I'm like a little girl about this. It has a nice fireplace, a beautiful view, and the lovely below to enjoy in the evenings after the kids go to bed. We'll get a date night every night!

Now, I must stop myself from taking my entire kitchen with me in the minivan. Red and yellow leaves inspire me to want to bake and make soup. I think we'll take some new toys that Seth hasn't seen before, and I'm really looking forward to hiking with both boys. But best of all, 10 whole days in a row with my tired man who just got back from a week away. Boy, we missed him.

Friday, October 02, 2009

C is for cookie...

This is a new favorite around here. Seth asks for it often. We believe in cookies in this house. Maybe he'll successfully learn one letter of the alphabet this way. Hmmm.... maybe we should do P is for Pizza or H is for Hummus, etc.